Tucked away in a side street off Toorak road, nestles a little café called Two Birds One Stone. Owned by the same people who brought us Three Bags Full and Top Paddock (see my review), it is a sophisticated breakfast/lunch spot with a beautiful interior and pretty food.
Having been to this café several times before, I decided it was time to write about it and reveal its charm for all of you to see.
It was a lazy Tuesday off work for me, and the day had started off with a big sleep inwhen I woke up at 8:30am and not the usual 6:00am. Not feeling up for moving yet, I sat in bed with my weeties and mashed banana whilst skimming over the latest Cereal magazine. Perfect.
Finally when I got myself out of bed, it was around lunchtime and knowing exactly what I wanted to eat meant we would go to one of three places. Three Bags Full, Two Birds and Top Paddock are all well known not only for their unique style and friendly staff, but also for their amazing mixed salad plates. Having to pull my boyfriend away from his work to eat lunch with me and with Two Birds being just around the corner, it was a quick, easy and confident pick.
Expecting there to be a line out the door as there always is, it turns out that Tuesday mid-days is the best time to go and be guaranteed a seat! All three of these cafes usually have a million people trying to sit at once and a list at the door with a waiting period of 10-15 minutes. If this does ever happen to you however, it is worth waiting – I assure you.
Ordering a usual long black and flat white, I didn’t really need to look at the menu, but glanced anyway to see any new additions. When the waiter came back with the coffees, we placed our orders and began the painful waiting period.
It wasn’t long until a very large mixed salad plate arrived in front of me and as I stared down at it, I actually questioned my ability to finish it. For $14.50, I couldn’t believe how generous the serving size was.
The plate comprised of three salads
a) Spinach, apple, fennel and sultana
b) Grilled zucchini, basil, feta and chard
c) Coz lettuce, bacon, tomato and red onion.
Let me pull them apart for you.
The first one was probably the best balanced. The apple was a granny smith, known for its sourness, and when eaten with the sweet sultanas, it was quite harmonizing. The fennel was crisp and aromatic (coincidently also one of my favorite flavors) and helped to tie out all flavors together. Spinach was a good choice of leaf for this as well as it didn’t pull the focus away too much from the other ingredients. It’s not overly crunchy or difficult to eat, but quite content just sitting there.
Moving towards the middle of the plate was my favorite of the three. I liked the salty feta and the strong basil sensation. More zucchini would have been nice, however I was more interested in the choice of leaf they used. Chard was a new thing for me, and although it looked awfully a lot like spinach, I could taste a slight bitterness, reminding me it was different.
The third and final salad kind of reminded me of a ceaser minus the croutons and egg on top. The cos lettuce was crispy and crunchy which was quite refreshing. The amount of creamy dressing was perfect, allowing the lettuce to remain fresh and not making you feel sick afterwards. The red onion, apart from highlighting the other flavors of the dish, was sweet and sharp, contrasting with the salty bacon and essentially ‘cut’ through the creamy dressing. One thing to note, was the tomato-to-bacon ratio. In my words, 4% tomato, 96% bacon. Far too much. And I don’t know whether or not it was just my salad that ended up with all of it, or whether it was just a bacon-y type of salad. It reminded me of when someone gets the one muffin out of the batch that has nearly ALL of the chocolate chips! Except this time, I didn’t want to be that person.
It was great value for money, and despite doubting my ability to clear the plate, the only thing left was a large pile of bacon strips pushed to the corner (I could have sworn I ate majority of it!) Do yourself a kindness and go pig out on one of these salads! But be sure to go during the week, as they aren’t offered on weekends!
Sitting across from me, was a well-presented Reuben. My boyfriend seemed to be enjoying it but when I asked for his opinion, he hadn’t made his mind up. He described to me that all of the flavors were there, but the corned beef just got lost in it all – when eaten on its own, it was delicious. He also said that he wished he were hung-over as he ate it, as it was very greasy with too much butter and cheese. The positives? It was a good size for the price of $13.00 and included a succulent pickle, which is just as important as the maxim ‘cherry on top’.
If you are looking for a place to impress a girl, a work associate, or your mum -this is perfect. It’s beautiful design and décor, matched with attractive and appetizing food makes it a no brainer.